What are the “little ivy”, the “little three”, and the “hidden ivy”?

Website design By BotEap.comMost people are familiar with Ivy League universities and have a pretty good idea that it is extremely prestigious to attend one of them. There are many, many other universities that are very rigorous academically and difficult to get into. The term The Little Three, The Little Ivies, and The Hidden Ivies is sometimes confusing to follow. Not only do they have similar names, I was surprised to hear that some parents had never heard of some of the colleges and didn’t realize the magnitude of the accomplishment of their daughter being accepted. Below is an explanation of the different groupings. I hope having a list in one place helps.

Website design By BotEap.comthe ivy league consists of 8 schools that compete in the same NCAA Division 1 athletic conference. The schools are Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Dartmouth, and Cornell.

Website design By BotEap.comIvy League schools are considered to be some of the most prestigious and top-ranked universities. According to US News and World Report college and university rankings, all Ivy League institutions rank in the top 15 with 5 in the top 5.

Website design By BotEap.comThey are all located in the northeastern region of the United States.

Website design By BotEap.comEnrollment ranges from 4,000 to 14,000 undergraduate students, making them larger than most private liberal arts colleges but smaller than a state university. Athletic scholarships are not awarded; financial aid is based on need.

Website design By BotEap.comThe “Little Three” is an unofficial athletic conference of three elite liberal arts colleges: Amherst, Wesleyan, and Williams. These are three of the best liberal arts colleges in the nation and they are very difficult to get into. The Little Three began competing in this triangular league in 1899 and in 1920 they received the nickname “Little Three”. This contrasts with the “Big Three” universities (Harvard, Yale and Princeton, HYP), in the Ivy League.

Website design By BotEap.comThe NESCAC or New England Small College Athletic Conference is an NCAA Division 3 athletic conference of 11 highly selective liberal arts colleges: Amherst, Williams, Wesleyan, Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Connecticut, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, and Tufts. There are rules regarding the length of the season, the number of contests, and postseason competition. There are no sports scholarships; financial aid is based solely on need.

Website design By BotEap.comThe “little ivy” it is not an official term or group. Refers to a small group of highly selective liberal arts colleges. The list includes all colleges in the NESCAC (above) except Connecticut College, along with Colgate, Haverford, Swarthmore, and Vassar. Also note that Tufts is no longer a small College of Liberal Arts, but has grown into a larger research university.

Website design By BotEap.comAs you can see, all of the colleges listed above are highly selective, very difficult to get into, and highly respected. One of the biggest differences between the Ivy League and the “Little Ivies” would be their athletic grouping. Ivy League schools are in the Division 1 league, which trains and competes year-round. The Little Ivy Colleges are in the Division 3 athletic group and only compete during their sports’ respective seasons.

Website design By BotEap.comFor an outstanding student-athlete who wanted to compete in 2 sports, a NESCAC Division 3 university could satisfy both academic and athletic desires and be a great match!

Website design By BotEap.comCurrently, here is a list of the top 20 colleges and another of the top 20 colleges listed in US News and World Report on college and university rankings. Please note that there are many lists that vary. US News ratings are used most often.

Website design By BotEap.comLiberal Arts College Rankings:

Website design By BotEap.comWhen universities have the same ranking, they share the same number in ( ).

  1. williams college
  2. Amherst University
  3. Swarthmore College
  4. University of Pomona
  5. Middlebury University
  6. Bowdoin College
  7. (6) Carleton University
  8. (6) Wellesley College
  9. Claremount McKenna College
  10. Haverford College
  11. davidson college
  12. Washington and Lee University
  13. Wesleyan University
  14. United States Military Academy
  15. United States Naval Academy
  16. Vassar College
  17. hamilton university
  18. Harvey Mudd College
  19. Grinnell College
  20. Smith College
Website design By BotEap.comNational Ranking of Universities:

  1. Harvard University
  2. Princeton University
  3. Yale University
  4. Columbia University
  5. California Institute of Technology
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  7. Stanford University
  8. University of Chicago
  9. University of Pennsylvania
  10. duke university
  11. dartmouth college
  12. Northwestern University
  13. Johns Hopkins University
  14. Washington University of St.Louis
  15. brown university
  16. Cornell University
  17. rice university
  18. Vanderbilt University
  19. University of Notre Dame
  20. Emory University
Website design By BotEap.comTo read more about how to ensure your student has the best chance in the college admissions process, visit http://www.harvardmomadvice.com

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